Published on 20th July 2017
Q2 2017 saw the expected upturn in talent demand within the Supply Chain & Procurement space across Singapore and the wider Southeast Asia region, as businesses often implement their strategic hiring plans at this time of year.
In a competitive hiring environment, brought about by the continued impact of start-ups and established MNCs launching in Singapore to serve the Southeast Asia market, we have seen organisations face challenges in attracting quality hires, whilst at the same time ensuring that they retain their best people.
Local talent remained a priority
Hiring the best Singaporean talent was still a priority for most companies in the second quarter of 2017. Limited opportunities have arisen for foreign talent except for regional strategic and leadership positions.
Whilst Singapore did continue feeling the impact by the offshoring of manufacturing facilities and customer services operations to more cost-effective locations across Southeast Asia, we continued to see hiring activity in the market, especially across Professional Services, FMCG, Healthcare, Logistics, IT and e-Commerce.
War for talent within IT, Logistics and e-Commerce
In Q2 2017, these sectors faced competition for talent with expertise in warehousing, last-mile delivery and specific cross-border freight.
Operational workers such as warehouse staff and drivers continued to be in short supply, with businesses suffering from high turnover in these areas.
Good Demand Planners were scarce
Throughout the last few months, we also saw, across the FMCG and Pharmaceutical industries, that many companies sought after professionals with deep knowledge in Supply & Demand Planning, Inventory Management, and Forecasting.
Companies were facing a challenge in finding excellent Demand Planners who could drive lean processes for more effective supply chain management.
Good systems attracted talent
While the role, package, career progression and company remained as key differentiators, robust ERP tools and processes were often the factors that attracted Supply Chain professionals to work for a company.
Investment in good company systems can help companies attract the best talent.
Differentiating skills were advantageous
In 3PL and 4PL industries, we observed that professionals experienced in Project Management, LEAN Six Sigma and Solution Implementation were in high demand in Q2 2017.
For these job seekers, differentiating skills such as excellent stakeholder management and client management have placed them at an advantage. Supply Chain professionals who could analyse data from category spend and identify solutions to improve supply chain performance have found themselves with multiple opportunities.
Procurement: Taking a strategic view
In Q2 2017, there was the demand for Direct and Indirect Procurement professionals with extensive experience in specific commodities. We saw a trend where companies specifically look for talent with the ability to transform the procurement function from being just transactional to being more value-adding and strategic.
We also saw the demand for talent who can build capabilities of the procurement department in Singapore and across Asia. This increased the need for Strategic Procurement Management talent with a good grasp on the holistic value of procurement as opposed to solely from a cost-saving perspective.
Positive outlook for Q3 2017
In the months ahead, the outlook for the Supply Chain & Procurement job market looks set to be positive, with hiring remaining optimistic and professionals keeping an open mind to explore new opportunities.
Those with regional exposure and cross-border Supply Chain experience will continue to be in demand.
For Procurement, we are seeing an increasing emphasis on developing a strong, sustainable sourcing strategy while keeping customer accountability in check.
Supply Chain & Procurement
Salary Report for Q3 2017*
*Notes about salary table:
- Titles and levels vary from organisation to organisation.
- The salary ranges given are only approximate guides. For tailored salary advice, please contact us directly.
- 12-month base salaries are assumed.
- All other benefits and bonuses are in addition to these figures.
- Bonus ranges can vary significantly from company to company and will be influenced by market conditions, business and individual performances. Bonus ranges from 1 month at the low end to 100%+ at the upper.
- Holiday entitlements range from 12–25 days with senior executives not usually receiving less than 18 days. Less than 15 is very rare and 20 days is becoming the norm.
- Healthcare policies are standard.
- Pension plans vary with some companies offering greater than the standard contribution. Top up schemes can increase employer contribution levels as much as 15– 20% of the base salary for senior executives.
by Paul Endacott